Why it matters: With subscription services now becoming the norm, it might not come as a surprise to learn that Google is testing something called Play Pass, which for $4.99 per month lets people access a multitude of premium mobile apps and games.
As reported by Android Police, Play Pass is quite similar to Apple Arcade, a subscription service that offers access to iOS games including the Beneath a Steel Sky sequel for a set monthly fee. Google’s version, however, consists of both games and apps, all “without ads, download fees or in-app purchases."
XDA Developers discovered evidence last year that Google was working on the Play Pass service, but screenshots show it’s in the final stages of testing.
"Explore a curated catalog spanning puzzle games to premium music apps and everything in between. From action hits to puzzles and fitness trackers, with Google Play Pass you unlock access to hundreds of premium apps and games,” states the info page.
Some of the titles available on the service include Stardew Valley, Marvel Pinball, and Risk. Android Police received the screenshots from a user and confirmed with Google that the service is real and in its testing phase.
With Google Stadia, UPlay+ and Microsoft’s Project xCloud on the way, more companies are focusing on game subscription services as each strives to become a sort-of Netflix for gaming. It’ll be interesting to see how many consumers are willing to pay a monthly fee for mobile games and apps, but the lack of ads, fees, and in-app purchases certainly sounds compelling.